The nation's factories remain in a pronounced funk. Orders for durable goods declined 0.8 percent in March, with new orders falling in almost every industrial sector, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday.
Durable goods orders have now declined in seven of the past eight months. What's more, manufacturing output has now fallen in this recession by the most in percentage terms since 1945, when the United States demobilized after World War II.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected March durable goods orders to fall 1.8 percent. Durable goods orders increased a revised 2.1 percent in February, after falling 7.3 percent in January; they also fell 3.0 percent in December 2008 and 4.0 percent in November 2008.